Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On a roll

If there's something I've learned from our pancake experiment, it's that Charlotte is ready to eat more interesting food. She learned how to sign "more" and she hasn't stopped yet. I've fed her some plain pasta, diced steamed carrots, and peaches. She's really interested in what we're having.

So today I went hunting for a toddler- and allergy-friendly healthy muffin recipe for the whole family. I started by checking the allergy-friendly cookbooks I ordered, but those recipes were all loaded with sugar. (As an aside, I don't find these cookbooks have the healthiest recipes.) I was looking for something I would feel good about feeding the kids for breakfast. Then I started Googling "vegan muffins," but a lot of those options replaced the eggs with flax seeds. Since Charlotte reacted to sesame seeds, I am going to hold off trying any more seeds for the time being.

Finally, I turned to one of my favorite recipe sites - 100 Days of Real Food. It's written by author Lisa Leake, who strives to keep processed foods out of her family's diet. I started with her recipe for whole-wheat carrot applesauce muffins, then made a few changes to fit our family. Each of the three kids polished off a muffin fresh out of the oven for snack, so I'm going to hold onto this one. Here's the recipe.

1½ cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 mashed banana
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup carrot shreds

 For the big kids, I stirred in: 1/2 cup of raisins 1/2 cup silvered almonds into half of them.  Walnuts would be yummy too.

INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line or grease your muffin. In a bow, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a mixer, combine the butter, syrup, banana and vanilla together on medium speed. Slowly add in the flour mixture until it is combined. The batter will be fairly thick. Fold in the applesauce and carrots with a wooden spoon, along with any add-ins you'd like. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I under cooked them a bit, which was good for Charlotte to mash with her gums. I think it also helped keep the muffins moist.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

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